This session at the 2018 Advisen Casualty Insights Conference outlined trends related to mass torts and other large claims impacting the casualty sector.
– Jonathon Drummond, Head of Casualty Brokerage, North America, Willis Towers Watson (Moderator)
– Josh Gold, Shareholder, New York, Anderson Kill
– Phil Goldberg, Director of the Progressive Policy Institute’s Center for Civil Justice and Co-Chair, Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P.
– Emily O. Slater, Managing Director, Burford Capital
– Megan Watt, Chief Claims Officer, Everest Insurance
We are currently in a very-challenged market. A lot of that is being driven by trends that are hard to get our hands around, so the industry is constantly being challenged. A large cost-driving challenge facing the industry is the influx of large claims. In the last three years, for instance, there have been more nine-figure settlements than ever before.
Asbestos still remains one of the largest cost drivers, however, 2018 is bringing unique emerging risks to the table. For instance, trends point towards an uptick of sexual harassment, assault and discrimination suits. #MeToo has become an entire movement. Some estimate that litigation in this area has cost close to $2 billion so far with no end in sight.
Also, cyber risks like hacks and data breaches are becoming more common and settlements are getting larger by the day. In addition to settlement costs, companies face additional costs like fees associated with consumer credit monitoring, corporate reputation management and legal fines. It does not look like the industry has a handle on what is happening with cyber. It is likely to get a lot worse before it gets better.
At this point, the courts do not seem to be looking at these dynamics through the liability lense. They are approaching litigation to “get the corporate bad guy”, which is costing the industry dearly.